Daily Newspaper and Travel Guide
for Pecos Country
of West Texas
Tuesday, December 28, 1999
By Smokey Briggs
The "I compare everything to the
Have you ever wondered why prices never seem to drop?
price of a coke" Economic Index
I asked an economics professor about it a long time ago.
He explained that under a theory of ever-expanding population and inflation,
prices would always rise and never fall.
This explanation only added to the dumb look on my face.
We went on that way for a while _ him explaining and me crunching my
eyebrows up and staring at him.
Finally he gave up.
"Rising prices are good," he said. "Rising prices indicate that the
economy is growing."
I nodded as though I understood because he looked like he might cry
if I didn't.
"Sometimes, prices for products do fall," he continued. "We call that
a depression. It is bad. Ask your father about."
Well, that was the end of my dream to be an economist. If that is all
you need to know I couldn't see wasting 10 years in school to get a PhD.
in economics. Heck, I was ready to go right then.
Well, in a roundabout way, this all has a point.
There is good news and bad news. The good news is that the economy seems
to be doing fine and we aren't in a depression. Prices for products are
rising all around us.
The bad news is that the Enterprise is going to have to keep up with
the times and raise her newstand price from 35 cents to 50 cents.
This will be the first increase in our newstand price since 1987 when
you could buy a coke from a gas station vending machine for 35 cents.
For a good many years cokes have cost 50 cents or more, so it is probably
time to raise the price.
That way we can maintain parity with the very important, "I compare
the cost of everything to the cost of a bottle of coke" price index.
I maintain this index as a service to mankind and will gladly supply
a copy to anyone needing to add it to their financial data and such.
My grandfather first started this family tradition. Every time he saw
a price tag he exclaimed, "That's robbery. I remember when a coke only
cost a nickel!"
He would say this no matter what kind of merchandise he was looking
at. It didn't matter. Everything got compared to the price of a coke.
Over time we started keeping track of such items and the index was born.
Somehow it hasn't caught on like some of the big Wall Street price index
thingamajigs have, but I'm betting it will.
It's a lot more reliable than those Wall Street indexes.
For instance, a quick look at the "I compare the cost of anything to
the cost of a coke" index shows that we are not in a depression, and a
newspaper ought to cost 50 cents.
EDITOR'S NOTE: Smokey Briggs is the Editor and Publisher of the
Pecos Enterprise whose column appears on Tuesdays. He can be e-mailed at:
Mr. Wheeless was dedicated, supportive and a legend
To The Editor:
January is School Board Recognition Month. It affords us the opportunity
to show our appreciation to the dedicated men and women who are elected
to serve on the Pecos-Barstow-Toyah Independent School District Board of
The school board is the educational policy making body for the district
and the school board and the superintendent work together as a leadership
School board members exemplify local citizen control and decision making
in education. They volunteer time and energy to assure that our schools
are providing the best education possible for the children of our community.
They are citizens whose decisions affect our children _ what they learn,
who will teach them and what kinds of facilities house their classrooms.
School board members must receive at least ten hours of continuing education
training during their first year of service. Thereafter, they must annually
receive at least five hours of continuing education training in team building
and leadership duties. In addition, they attend numerous meetings, conferences
and seminars, unselfishly devoting their time. They do not receive compensation
for serving on the school board.
Please make a special effort during the month of January to let your
school board members know that you appreciate them. The men and women of
the Pecos-Barstow-Toyah Independent School District Board of Education
are: Earl Bates, President; Louis Matta, Vice-President; Freddy Lujan,
Secretary; Billie Sadler, Steve Armstrong, Brent Shaw and Frank Apolinar.
Superintendent of Schools
Members deserve recognition for their hard work, dedication
I feel some of the people of Pecos turned the wrong hand over not long
before and after we moved. I spent 9 great years working side by side with
a man who gave everything for the town of Pecos and the PBT ISD, 35 years
to be exact. Some of you know exactly what I am talking about. First in
my short duration of 9 years, I saw somewhere in the neighborhood of 30
to 40 teachers go through Pecos High. Each of these stayed varying amounts
of time (2 to 4 yrs). Each of these received some sort of gift or going
away luncheon on their departure. After 35 years this man received exactly
nothing in return for his service and dedication.
Many of the individuals teaching and running PBT went through his program,
however they slowly let this happen. Shame on you!!!!!!
Next this individual asked to borrow a trailer to help a friend move,
knowing he was no longer a PBT employee, he went through the proper channels
to gain permission to use this trailer and even had the new operator of
this trailer there helping load it. After helping load the trailer and
seeing that it was getting late, the trailer was stored for the night.
The next day shortly after this man arrived to take this trailer and unload
it. He was informed that he was not allowed to use the trailer, even though
he had gained permission. He unloaded the trailer and returned it with
disappointment, I'm sure. It seems someone had complained and cried to
the administration. Perhaps this is only another prime example of the powers
to be. Must they always speak from both sides of their mouth?
How could people be so mean and evil?
MY TURN TO RESPOND
When I was first hired to come teach ag-science in Pecos, I wasn't really
sure this was the place for me. I had grown up in the hill country with
trees and water. What were we going to do here? Like all first year teachers,
I was eager to get started, so we accepted positions and figured we could
gain some experience. I quickly grew to like the little skinny guy next
door, who always came with a smile and the will to help any way possible.
Things rocked along fairly quickly and before long it was stockshow
season. While waiting in line at the Brenham swine sift to fill out paper
work a lady approached me and ask if Bailey Wheeless was still around Pecos?
I informed her that he was and he would be in Houston shortly with our
sheep showstring. After a short visit she remarked, "that Mr. Wheeless
was a living legend." I often wondered what she meant by that comment?
I don't know if she ever stopped by to see him during the show that year,
but each year as we resumed to Houston, there she would be and we would
discuss how things where in Pecos and how Mr. Wheeless was doing. It seems
as though she had a son or two that had gone through the Pecos Ag. Science
program with Mr. Wheeless.
After nine years of working side by side with him I finally realized
what she meant by her comment.
You Pecos voted him "TEACHER OF THE YEAR" back in the early 70's, There
are surely thousands of pictures in most of your homes that include Mr.
Wheeless and his family, and there are plenty of you hanging in their home.
You have seen him work endless hours for no pay on many of your ranches.
He/Patsy have hauled most of you all over the state of Texas in some sort
of competition. He has been on call 24/7 for the past 35 years. He taught
other classes besides ag when there were shortages of teachers. You dedicated
the Rodeo to him a couple of years back, and you can usually find him trying
to help at each rodeo perfomance.
You have a very nice covered stockshow facility-dance floor-party facility
because he did all of the leg work and drew up the original plans and spent
many hours with contractors to get the best for Pecos. This story could
run on forever because each of you have your special moments you will remember
after reading this, just as my family and I have our own. He/and his family
were there for us when needed.
The life of an Ag science teacher can be glorious, yet heart-breaking.
There is only a few who can truly tell how much. That being their family,
"They are the ones who picked up after each event, or patiently waited
while he was out attending to other families' problems, having to celebrate
birthdays, and special occassions on the road many times", this too could
run on forever. Mr. Wheeless, has a great person who has stood beside him
through it all, and I could not write this without mentioning her. Patsy
has seen it all and is truly a special person that deserve her on recognition.
Thank you Ms. Wheeless!
To Mr. Bailey Wheeless I say THANK YOU, for giving me the opportunity
to learn from the BEST and I know what that lady meant when she called
you a legend 10 years ago and I feel honored to call you my friend and
mentor. These same sentiments are echoed by Joe Henson, AST Midland, Dan
Sheets, AST Krum, Ray Ellis, AST Colorado City, and Ted Young, AST Lockney
_ all spending part of their careers with this same great individual.
To that one individual who complained about this man using a trailer
2 or 3 weeks after his retirement and service to the community of Pecos.
You don't deserve to travel anywhere under the name of PECOS FFA, you couldn't
even come close to representing the legend Mr. Wheeless leaves behind!
I feel justified in saying you will surely answer to this wrong on judgement
RICK BRACY, AST
P.S. Did you know Mr. Wheeless spent one Thanksgiving Day back
in 1974 putting wheels and tires on that same trailer the school had just
purchased, so he could haul it home to Pecos.
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York M. "Smokey" Briggs, Publisher
Peggy McCracken, Webmaster
Division of Buckner News Alliance, Inc.
324 S. Cedar St., Pecos, TX 79772
Phone 915-445-5475, FAX 915-445-4321
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